Monday, May 29, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Hold time-bound probe
Gavaskar peeved at cricket’s trial by fire

NEW DELHI, May 28 (PTI) — Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar today said, “There may be an odd rotten apple but others are clean”, and called for a time-bound and thorough probe into match-fixing allegations, particularly in the case of current Indian cricket players.

“There may be an odd rotten apple in the pack, but the others are clean and they deserve the cloud of suspicion be taken out over their heads,” Gavaskar said in an interview in Dhaka, the venue of the four-nation Asia Cup tournament.

Gavaskar, who has been advocating for the cleansing of the game, was peeved at the way “cricket’s trial by fire” was on and said “this kind of innuendo cannot continue.”

“A thorough inquiry should be done so that everything comes out above the board and players can go with their heads held high,” the former India skipper said.

The world record holder for most number of Test centuries wanted a time-frame to be set for current players to get a “verdict” so that they can carry on with their game.

“I certainly would like to see a time-frame set for current players... before the next season starts in September,” Gavaskar, who is here as television commentator, said.

“Inquiries regarding former players and administrators can take as long as authorities want,” he said adding players must know their fate before the new season begins.

Gavaskar conceded that media had to play the role of a watchdog in exposing any wrongdoings in cricket, “but they have to decide where to draw the line.”

“It should not be carried away one way or the other. Media should remember that reputation is built over years,” Gavaskar said in an obvious reference to the secret videotapes made public by a website here yesterday — mostly shot by former all-rounder Manoj Prabhakar using a hidden camera — which made fresh corruption allegations with mention made of some more players.

Gavaskar hoped greater good and commonsense will pevail in all this, but said if there was any suspicion, if somebody has said something, “media has to be the best judge of themselves and should not get carried away by their own likes and dislikes”.

The former opener was aghast at the ease with which people were approaching media to be in the spotlight.

“If you’ve been in the spotlight which is lost now then there is a tendency to rush to the media. That temptation to get back into the spotlight is dangerous,” he said.

He did not rule out the possibility of some people using the situation to settle old scores.

“That may well be the case. Some people might have some grudge from the past which they want to settle now, but at the end of the day greater good will prevail,” he said.

Gavaskar said life bans alone may not serve the purpose and urged the International Cricket Council to delete all records of any player found guilty. “This is apart from the law of the land which will decide on what punishment should be given to them,” he said. 

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